Australian model Duckie Thot is featured on one of multiple Paper magazine covers (as shot by Paola Kudacki) for its annual “Beautiful People” issue, and in the interviews reveals a lot of new information about her come up as a model.
First off, yes, Thot is her real name. Her first name is actually Nyadek, but her nickname has been Duckie since age six. Thot’s parents are Sudanese and both are members of the Nuer tribe, who, according to Wikipedia, are mostly located in Southern Sudan.
While it’s often mentioned that Thot’s start in modeling began with an appearance on the eighth cycle of “Australia’s Next Top Model,” in the interview she waves off the association, implying her association with the show didn’t help her modelign career.
Following the show, Thot tried to find modeling work for two years in Australia, but said wasn’t able to book a single assignment. “I think it was a very confusing part of my life for me. I was just this little [black] girl in Australia just being like, ‘Oh yeah, I want to do modeling,’ but [while also] being in a country that doesn’t promote black models. It was kind of like a mindfuck all in itself anyways, so I didn’t really get how far I was going to go with it.” she explained.
Thinking she might see wider acceptance in New York, Thot asked her agent to pitch her to the top agencies and none expressed a willingness to take her on. Nonetheless, Thot stay determined, crediting her father with making her understand success would not come easy. “He always taught me that I’m always going to have to work twice as hard in life no matter what, and that there’s no book to explain why or as to what reason,” said Thot.
Thot booked and paid for her own flight to New York and visited some of the agencies who had rejected her. Seeing her in person made the difference and Thot headed back to Australia with multiple offers in hand.
She made her first appearance on Kanye West‘s spring 2017 runway presentation, one she views as a game changer for her in multiple ways. Held during New York Fashion Week in September 2016, Duckie told of meeting legendary makeup Pat McGrath, who upon seeing Thot’s gorgeous chocolate skin, told her, “We need to make you a color!”
See more images at paper.com.